State/Local Government

Follow the Money
Track who is giving money to state candidates. From the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
Track state governments legislation, etc.
Links to government sites in all 50 capital cities.
Official government websites locator cited by the following govt websites:, LOC, FEMA, EPA, IRS, HUD, DOJ, SSA, ARMY, NAVY, 49 state governments, and more.

Stateline 2020 Calendar
Pew’s Stateline 2020 calendar includes each state’s legislative schedule as well as maps of the political landscape. Keep it handy to help you track legislative action in all 50 states.

CIR: Who Gets Paid What in Your City/County/State?
Public employee pay database from Center for Investigative Reporting.

Public Information Databases
Organized by state, this site offers links to more than 4,300 government databases.

Washington Post: The Best State Political Blogs

Center for Public Integrity: State Integrity Report
The project uses extensive research by reporters in each state to grade and rank the states based on existing laws and analysis of how well they are implemented.

Copy, Paste, Legislate
This Center for Public Integrity helps you track lobbying efforts by pulling documents and parsing text. It identifies recent model legislation introduced national and in your state. It lets you search a specific topic or keyword and by a specific bill number.

Center for Public Integrity: Who’s Calling the Shots in State Politics?
Browse the State Influence Hub to find data on lobbying, state political TV ads, top political donors and other topics.

Illinois Elections Data
Useful campaign data on Illinois elections, managed by Scott Kennedy, a former Democratic campaign worker.

Library of Congress: State Resource Guides
Provides links to external Web sites and a bibliography containing selected works for both general and younger readers. This site will be updated on a regular basis.

Patchwork Nation
From the Jefferson Institute, this site divides America’s 3,141 counties into 12 community types based characteristics, such as income level, racial composition, employment and religion. It also breaks the nation’s 435 congressional districts into nine categories, using the same data points and clustering techniques.

ProPublica PAC Track
Follow contributors and spending with political action committees.

RTDNA: Cameras in Courts – A State-by-State Guide

Chicago Tribune Election Center
Tracks state, local and national elections.

National Association of Counties

RJI: Open the Room Project
RJI fellows created this project that looks into how to create scalable video recording and archiving systems based on emerging technologies for public community meetings, events and sports. By lowering the cost and complexity, their goal is to provide solutions that could become an essential part of community journalism.

State and Local Government Resources on the Net
Links state-by-state.

Federal Internet Guide
Offers state-by-state links to online court record search services at trial courts and government agencies. Find court locations, other legal services offered and more.

Court Records Blog
Part of’s site, this blog covers some of the basics of court records, understanding documents, how a court room works, etc.

Free Public Records Directory
Free state court resources.

The Public i
A super investigative site from the Center for Public Integrity. Features studies, links to stories, commentaries and more.

National District Attorneys Association

National Association of State Information Resource Executives
A great quick-reference of bios by state. Also has a directory page of topic areas such as education, revenue, treasures and legislatures.

EPodunk: City, County, Town and Community Information
Statistical data and other details on small communities across the nation.

Rural Blog
A collection of “events, trends, issues, ideas and journalism from and about rural America.”
A great site. Roots out the funding sources of the most notorious anti-consumer groups. It continually adds profiles on the first of every month.
A collection of information on U.S. cities and towns. The site includes almanac-like reference data, property statistics, local weather reports, links to the official city web sites and maps for about 3,500 cities. The site also includes a summary article on about 50 major cities.

National Attorney Generals Association
This site has links to state attorney general’s offices. Most attorney general sites.

StateMaster: US Statistics, State Comparisons

National League of Cities
Studies, stats and stories on trends in urban and rural cities and towns.

State and Local Governments
A directory of links to state and local government sites.

Tax Foundation: New State Business Tax Climate Index

Stateline: State of the State Speeches
Various feeds from governors’ speeches around the nation.
A guide to those rights and resources for crime victims at the federal and state level.

Re-Entry Policy Council (RPC)
Policymakers representing Democrats and Republicans, law enforcement, corrections, health and other representatives.

State Agencies Database Project
In every US State and the District of Columbia, agencies are creating databases of useful information – information on businesses, licensed professionals, plots of land, even dates of fish stocking.

Datasets Every Government Reporter Should Have

National Governor’s Association

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Council of State Governments
This site has collected and analyzed data from numerous sources to create profiles of all U.S. cities. It featuresthousands of pictures, maps, satellite photos, stats about residents (race, income, ancestries, education, employment…), geographical data, crime data, housing, businesses, political contributions, weather, hospitals, schools, libraries, houses, airports, radio and TV stations, zip codes, area codes, user-submitted facts, similar cities list.

State Laws Database
Searchable index of state laws and legislation for all 50 states.
A news service operated by the Pew Center on the states produces in-depth stories on state-based public policy issues.

Community Associations Institute
Features a report card for America’s 40 largest counties.
Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors is an organization for statehouse reporters around the country.

State Government Sites
A quick-reference listing of state government sites.

A comprehensive collection of demographic, lifestyle, and economic data covering over 2,600 U.S. cities portrayed as thematic maps, informative reports, detailed tables and colorful charts — all freely available.
Stats, contacts, other resources about city/local government.

United States Conference of Mayors

National Governors Association
Anything you want to know about the nation’s governors and policy statements on state and federal issues.

ProPublica Recovery Tracker: How Much Stimulus Funding Is Going To Your County?
This non-partisan site covers every side of a topic with an easy-to-use index.
This free database allows you to track legislation across states. It takes some time to use, though.

Locate State Government Sites
A search engine and image map takes you to official state sites.

ProPublica: How Much Stimulus Money is Your County Receiving?
Local government sites.

Taxpayers for Common Sense
Watchdog group on wasteful government spending. Site includes a media page and is organized by categories such as government contracts, energy, transportation, national security, etc.
Organized by state and city, explore data on many U.S. communities.

National Association of Counties

PC Magazine’s Undiscovered Websites: Government
From November, 2007, a great collection of sites that provide shortcuts to many federal government and news sites.

Institute for State Studies

Chamber Of Commerce
A central resource for community, tourism and business information.

Index of State Malpractice Laws

National Association of Secretaries of State

Center for Public Integrity: Watchdogs on Short Leashes
An interesting December 2001 study on how many state legislatures have ethical oversights.

Government Finance Officers Association
This association offers background on public-sector finance and accounting.
This watchdog group offers a clearinghouse of stories on urban sprawl and the legislation to stop it. Hs a state-by-state summary of how state open space legislation is dying on the vine from budget cuts.

Public Library Rankings.
The annual ranking of 9,000 public libraries is available in a spreadsheet copy for journalists. A good newsroom training tool for spreadsheets.
This site profiles every county and more than 25,000 communities across the country. The site was compiled by journalists formerly with the Detroit Free Press, the New York Times and American Demographics magazine. The site uploads new data daily, including census, EPA, FDIC, FEC, USGS, etc.

State Mottos List
Magazine on federal government and military.

AngelFire: Real State Mottos

Stateline: States in Finanncial Trouble (2009)

City of Chicago information server
A guide to Chicago city government. Good for finding offices, phone numbers, department heads, census info., etc. See also Chicago Chamber of Commerce.

Cook County information server
County offices, demographics, meeting schedules, etc.

A must-read for anyone covering politics and federal government. Daily updates on what’s going on, links, resources, etc.

USA Today: State-by-State Population Growth (1790-2000)

Open Congress: 50 Key Senate Votes

National League of Cities
Includes a press room and resources for best practices, etc. for running city government.; What Government Does
Background story on fundamental functions and services the government performs at all levels.

Cornell Law: State Courts Opinions

Web-Strategist: Social Networking Statistics, 2009

NYC Stat
Mayor’s office of operations for New York City. Stats, performance reports, surveys, etc.

ProPublica Recovery Tracker: How Much Stimulus Funding Is Going To Your County?

Cornell Law: State Courts Opinions

One Impressive Fact About Every State

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